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Defense

Be Advised

July 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

You don’t hear much old-school military radio traffic anymore. Except for a few front-line radio nets, most radio chatter has been replaced by the endless, silent interplay of text messages, emails and Web postings. With that shift, we have lost an entire dialect of martial radio-speak.

Military Seeks Industry Help to Manage Spectrum Use

July 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Department is putting crucial emphasis on fresh ideas from private industry as it shapes the task of better managing the electromagnetic spectrum needed to assemble mission-tailored capabilities to meet military leaders’ needs—all the while coming under federal pressure to possibly renounce valuable wireless frequencies for commercial use.

Defense Spectrum Community Aims for National Strategy

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Defense Department officials intend to complete a departmentwide spectrum strategy road map this month, which will make more frequencies available to warfighters, provide greater flexibility—especially for international operations—and ultimately allow warfighters to conduct their missions more effectively. At the same time, however, some are suggesting a nationwide strategy to allow for more innovative and effective spectrum management and sharing across government and industry.

The Defense Department released its spectrum strategy in February to address the ever-increasing demand for wireless spectrum to achieve national security goals. That strategy largely was written by personnel within the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Defense Spectrum Organization (DSO) in coordination with the office of the chief information officer for the Defense Department. Now, the two offices are working on a road map for implementing the strategy.

Concurrently, some are recommending development of a comprehensive, nationwide strategy for spectrum management affecting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and all other agencies as well as the commercial sector. “What we have is a spectrum structure within the United States that was first created by the Telecommunications Act of 1934. We have created a pretty rigid system. What we’re pushing for through our spectrum strategy are changes and innovative ways to operate spectrum,” says Stuart Timerman, DSO director. “We would like to see that adopted nationally to have a national spectrum strategy where the FCC, NTIA and all of the federal agencies and commercial industry would plan for the future.”

Military Trolls for Disruptive Technologies

July 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

The next big breakthrough to affect the U.S. military might come from a different country or industry altogether, and discovering it in emerging stages could provide advantages. Developers with the Defense Department have launched a pilot system that aims to find these potential game changers before they become full-blown trends. Along the way, the research will explore what criteria are necessary to perform such a task.

This system rolled out earlier in the year as part of the advancement of the Technology Watch and Horizon Scanning programs—two complementary efforts designed to identify emerging technologies but from different angles. The former tracks key technology buzzwords while the latter looks for emerging scientific concepts and technology applications with disruptive potential. The capabilities these projects seek to detect might be outside the defense realm or might have been previously considered too immature to have much relevance to the technical landscape. The researchers for these programs look more at the science and technology facets of a project than at the application-space adaptation.

The initiatives, which began two years ago, aim to identify emerging technologies that improve the work force or infrastructure, or that have potential enough to lead the department to sponsor research in new areas. “I mean those systems that change or could potentially change the way we do business,” says Brian Beachkofski, director, Office of Technical Intelligence for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering. What the military wants are developments that could alter operational constructs, not upgrade plug-and-play capabilities, he adds.

Commercial Geospatial Processing Goes Underwater

July 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy submarine force is moving to use a commercial geospatial information product to provide an integrated data picture to its crew members. The undersea fleet is striving to implement Google Earth as a common geospatial foundation across all systems aboard its submarines.

Network Complexities Challenge Army, Force Structure Changes

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The complexities of the U.S. Army’s networks and spectrum allocation processes interfere with the need to reassign units to different tasks, creating major delays and presenting serious challenges.

A Eureka Moment Looms for Wearable Army Technology

July 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Army engineers and scientists are working to eventually equip dismounted soldiers with wearable computers such as Google Glass. The up-and-coming wearables technology is being touted by officials as one of the next game-changers for warriors.

Exelis to Provide Ground Control Approach System to Saudi Arabia

June 11, 2014

Exelis Incorporated Radar, Reconnaissance and Acoustic Systems, Van Nuys, California, has been awarded a $9,647,241 firm-fixed- price contract for a Ground Control Approach System (GCA). This effort is a new program in support of a foreign military sales case for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. This action will provide a GCA for installation at a Khasham Al An Airbase. The GCA system will be utilized for aircraft approach and landing guidance, including airspace control services in support of air traffic control operations and Saudi Arabian National Guard aviation mission requirements. Work will be performed in Saudi Arabia, and is expected to be completed by June 10, 2024. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (FA8730-14-C-0008).

Goodrich to Support Pakistan Reconnaissance Vehicle

June 11, 2014

Goodrich Corporation, Westford, Massachusetts, has been awarded an $11 million firm-fixed-price contract for Pakistan DB-110 sustainment effort that includes upgrade capabilities, spare and support equipment. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition, and is 100 percent foreign military sales for Pakistan. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-14-C-4017).

Aurora Receives X-Plane Contract Modification

June 11, 2014

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Manassas, Virginia, has been awarded a $10,457,663 modification (P00003) exercising the first option period on a seven-month base contract (HR0011-14-C-0014), with one 16-month option period. The contractor shall provide the personnel, equipment, materials, tools, facilities and program management and technical effort to design, develop, integrate, test and deliver the contractual requirements of the program for building two X-Plane aircraft. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia.

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